Tag Archives: emotional health

A short fuse is a lousy excuse for bad behavior…Take immediate action to lengthen the fuse!


short fuseA short while back, I was in a very nice taxi going from NJ to NY. The conversation turned as it often does to “So what do you do ma’am?”

Always at the ready to spread the word about stopping Gender Violence, I said what my passion is and then told some stories from the U.S., India and Trinidad.

He began asking lots of questions and then told me a story of a family member who has been abused for 10 years and her 8 year old daughter who has also been suffering under this oppressive regime.

I gave him my card to give to the family member and then said that it is SHE who must want to be guided out of that situation and into a healthier one.

Then, for some unknown reason, I began to talk about men who MUST have things their own way. I told some more true stories, then said:

“And then they come home to find one towel out of place and start screaming at their wives and children.”

He got very silent. Then he said, “Ma’am you could be talking about me.”

“Really?” I replied, “Tell me what you mean.”

I already knew what he meant, but I needed him to speak out loud the bad behavior that he has been exhibiting.

As he spoke it came pouring out of him, almost as though he had just been waiting for someone to confess to.

We went back and forth for a while and then he said this:

“You know ma’am, she is not even my culture. She is better than women in my culture. She learned how to cook all my special food and we have twin 2 year olds and a 2 month old. She is so busy and tired and I don’t know why I shout.”

“I have too much stress and I have a short fuse.”

A short fuse! Such a simple phrase, a phrase that people use to give themselves permission to behave very badly.

I used to have a short fuse. I used to be THAT person who yelled and shouted at a moments notice.

I remember how scared my kids would be when ” the short fuse monster” would come out.

I understand about short fuses.

Guess what?

There is a cure!

Short fuses can grow into VERY long, even ULTRA long fuses.


You MUST be SICK of the way you are acting.

No one can get you to grow your fuse, only you can do this for yourself.


Again, glad you asked.

You must ask for forgiveness from the people over whom you explode. You must be sincere.

You must be able to hear them tell you how much you have hurt them, AND you are NOT allowed to scream at them for their feelings, or blame them for any of your shortcomings.

You MUST then forgive your own self. Forgive the parts of you that are NOT in keeping with the elegant individual you wish to be.

You must continue these two things everyday for the rest of your life: apologize to others and forgive yourself AND you must NOT give yourself permission to scream at another human being.

This is what I told that wonderful young man. “When you feel like screaming say I feel like screaming at you. I do not know why I want to scream. I will go for a walk around the block and I will come back.”

This really can work, but you must elicit the help of the other person in trying this simple behavior change technique.

Go ahead, grow a longer fuse. Do it for your own mental, emotional and physical health and do it for the loved ones in your life.

It is an exercise worth doing.

It is worth the life energy you will invest.

Grow a longer fuse, because a short fuse is a lousy excuse to be a nasty human being.


Love and light,


Chew on THAT!

We’ve all been there…the conversation is flowing along nicely and BAM, someone takes offense to an opinion that you have but instead of asking for clarification, they SLAM you with an insult!

You know the feeling.
You suddenly feel like you’ve been hit by a truck, a bucket of ice cold water was just poured over your head or someone punched you in the gut!

You now have a choice. You can choose to slam back or you can choose to walk away.
I may have another option for you; I want you to CHEW ON THAT!
I want you to look them in the eye and say, “Well now let me see how that goes down, let me CHEW on your words for a while.”

Then I want you to conjure up a picture of an animal chewing and chewing and chewing on the hard blades of grass.
Pretend that the insult is a new kind of food that you are trying….hold the insult in your mouth, do NOT swallow!
Turn that insult around in your mouth.
If it had a taste, what would it taste like?
If it had a texture, what would it feel like?
If it had a temperature, would it be hot or cold?
Is it spicy, tasteless, salty or acidic?

Take your time, and then decide. If you do not like the way it will go down, SPIT it out.

How can you spit out someone else’s words?
You can simply say, without any anger, “Well now look here, I must decline to accept your most generous insult.”
Try doing it with a funny accent.
If you are a northerner, try a southern accent.
If you are a southerner, try a northern accent.

Why should you do this? It does seem quite ridiculous!
It actually IS quite ridiculous, but no more so than wasting good energy on stupid insults.
I hope you try it.

Let’s have some fun instead of always wanting to strike back.
Believe me when I say, striking back at the person who is quick with insults is a never-ending game. They get their glee from making you frazzled. They may deny it but sometimes it feels like they have an internal score board to settle and the more off track they can get you, the higher their score.

The only way out is to NOT PLAY THEIR game.
Do not play. Bench yourself.
If you sit out on the games that are detrimental to your emotional health, you will not lose anything.
You will gain some emotional strength. You will increase your emotional IQ.
How will it increase?
It will increase because you are not allowing the other person’s energy to derail you.

Give this technique a try, won’t you?

Love and light,